In 1959 I was 10 years old and the village was my big adventure trip out when I went to the shops for my mum. Upper Belvedere was always known as The Village when I lived there, is it still I wonder? I even went to school there too, Lesness Heath primary, so I have many fond memories.
Firstly the shops. Derrett and Dorman comes to mind immediately, they sold toys and to a 10 year old that was magic - they also sold, around the fifth of November, fireworks. There was House Brothers at the bottom of Albert Road virtually opposite Derrett & Dorman and further up the Albert Road on the left was another sweet shop, opposite the entrance to the park. I remember the sweet shop in the middle just before the Working Mens Club, another small sweet shop about 20 yards further on and my favourite sweet shop up the top close to the church hall. It was a tobacconists shop really which sold a few sweets, but they were the cheaper sweets that kids could buy with their meagre pocket money. I think there was another toy shop also owned by Derrett and Dorman, although I believe Mr Dorman has passed on and Mr Derret was the sole owner of the small group of shops. House Brothers used to sell garden type products from what I remember. We had a smallholding and kept pigs and chickens and part of my chores was to go to House Brothers for the chicken feed. I can still remember that special musty smell, so evocative of those times.
The park was always a fun place and across the road there was the paddling pool, although I seem to remember it being mostly waterless.
I remember collecting sweet chestnuts which, although small, were quite tasty when cooked. I mainly collected them from Lesness Woods close to Picardy boys school.
The only people I remember from the village, people who actually lived there were, Philip Housego, David Ball (opposite Lessness Heath school), Geoff (or Jeff) Hamilton (bottom of Nuxley Road) and Coral McCulloch (in the middle near the Working Mens Club) - what has happened to them?
There are many memories somewhere deeply hidden which need a bit of leverage to prize them out. Can anyone add to my memories, especially if you were around at the time. Growing up in the 50's was quite special, looking back, as time diminishes the not so good memories and stimulates the good ones.
Alan Roberton - from 1948 - 1969 I lived in
25 Swaylands Road
A memory shared byon Jul 10th, 2007.
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